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Indian Institute of Technology (Kanpur) Launches Course in Natural Language Processing

The Electronics and Information and Communication Technology (EICT) Academy at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur (IIT-Kanpur) has launched an online faculty development programme on natural language processing (NPL). The course was developed in collaboration with the National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Patna, the Malviya National Institute of Technology (MNIT), IIT-Roorkee, and the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Design, and Manufacturing (IIITDM) in Jabalpur.

Natural language processing technology enables computers and smart devices to comprehend human language. The technique is used by smart assistants to identify speech and respond with relevant answers based on the context. Chatbots can be NPL-powered and can automate discussions and communicate with people through messaging platforms.

The course will cover basic text processing, spelling correction, language modelling, POS tagging, distributional semantics, topic models, entity linking, information extraction, text summarisation, text classification, sentiment analysis, opinion mining, and dialogue systems. According to reports, the programme will be conducted from 7 to 18 February. The last date to apply is 5 February, and interested candidates can register through the official link. The course will benefit graduate students, post-doctoral researchers, young lecturers, and working professionals working in this domain.

The Indian government is developing and implementing several AI-driven initiatives in education, healthcare, agriculture, and finance. Public institutes and national agencies are constantly launching centres and offering courses in emerging technology to help build a skilled workforce. IIT-Kanpur is a public technical university located in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. It was declared to be an Institute of National Importance by the government under the Institutes of Technology Act. EICT Academy IIT Kanpur is an initiative of IIT-Kanpur and the Ministry of Electronics Information Technology (MeitY) that aims to provide job-oriented industry-relevant courses on the latest technology to students and faculty. All faculty development programmes are recognised as per the Career Advancement Scheme guidelines. Under its Winter Training Programme, the two-week-long natural language process programme will carry certificates for the participants who successfully complete it, a statement from IIT-Kanpur said.

The global natural language processing market was valued at US$11,500 million in 2020 and is expected to reach US$49,023 million by 2028 at a CAGR of 20.4% between 2021 and 2028. Natural language processing combines artificial intelligence (AI), computer science, and computational linguistics to help machines read texts by simulating the human ability of understanding languages. The technology offers a competitive advantage to businesses in media and digital ad services.

However, as per a report, in comparison to most other business verticals, the demand for natural language processing has increased in the healthcare sector. It is predicted to grow at the fastest rate in this sector over the forecast period. Natural language processing helped researchers deal with the massive amount of COVID-19 data that would have been hard to evaluate by humans, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). It aided in the tracking of COVID-19’s progress, and the technology can summarise thousands of COVID-19 research papers, such as CORD-19, added by researchers as they continue to work on vaccinations and treatments for the disease, the report stated.

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